You have collected MeSH-terms in the search box. Now you can add free search terms to complete your search. Ready; Click Search Pubmed.
Repeat step 2 and 3 for the other PICO-elements/building blocks.
• The latest articles have not been assigned with MeSH terms, this will take 4-6 months
• You cannot always find an appropiate MeSH-term for your subject
• All definitions concerning a certain subject cannot always be expressed by 1 single MeSH-term
• It can happen that a MeSH-term is not assigned to an article although the article reflects the subject
• Do you have a MeSH-term? Use it as a free search term also
• Look at the used MeSH-term for Entry-terms, you will see synonyms
• Use the underlying more specific terms of the used MeSH-term
• Look at already found relevant articles
• Use dictionaries and/or reference books
Use the asterisk (*) and find word variations in one single action
Now PubMed searches for all words beginning with depress, zoals depression, depressive, depressed, etc.
• Do not truncate too short; this may lead to Pubmed searching for non-relevant words (NOISE)
• PubMed has a limit of 600 word variations. You will receive an error message when exceeding this number
Does your search term have 2 or more words? Use the double quotation marks (" ") for the exact word order
Example: "physical therapy"
• PubMed only recognises double quotation marks, not the single ones. Use the
• phrasing is optional, not obligatory
- too many results? Try phrasing
- not enough results? remove the quotation marks
• no truncation while phrasing
• sometimes Pubmed does not recognise phrasing, remove the quotation marks
Once you have collected all free search words and put them into your PICO-form, you manually add them to the MeSH terms in the MeSH database searchbox. Click 'Search PubMed' to start the search.
A few points to note:
• Type OR in capitals between each search term, the search terms themselves in small letters
• Add self invented search terms in your searchbox only after you finished your search for MeSH-terms.
If not, you will lose them.
• Use truncation or phrasing
• A fieldcode may be useful to get the best results
Why using fieldcodes?
If you add a fieldcode to your search terms, Pubmed will only search in this field. Pubmed does not search a whole article. Next to MeSH-terms title and abstract are very telling about the content. By adding [tiab] to your free search words Pubmed will only search in in title or abstract therefore give you a better result.
Be careful, using a field code may limit your search result. Not enough hits; remove the field code.
In addition to [tiab] there are other fieldcodes.
Overview of all fieldcodes
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